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washington-dc-outdoor-dining.gif DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images Plus
Customers dine outdoors in Washington, D.C., as dining rooms remain closed in the wake of insurrection and a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Washington, D.C. restaurant dining rooms to remain closed until after inauguration

Mayor Muriel Bowser extends moratorium amid threats of more violence

Washington D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser has extended a moratorium on indoor dining at restaurants until two days after the scheduled inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20 “in the interest of public health and safety,” according to an order issued Monday.

Indoor dining had already been paused as of 10 p.m. on Dec. 23, 2020 as new COVID-19 cases grew to 41.22 per 100,000 people, the order said.

The moratorium was scheduled to be lifted at 5 a.m. on Jan. 15, but in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection by supporters of President Donald Trump, who lost the Nov. 3 presidential election, it has been extended to the morning of Jan. 22.

As Congress was certifying Biden’s victory, a mob of Trump supporters stormed the capitol, in an attack that left four of the insurrectionists and one police officer dead. Another police officer who responded to the riot later died by suicide.

On the evening of the 6th, Bowser imposed a 12-hour curfew, starting at 6 p.m., although some D.C. restaurants had already closed for the day in the face of threats of violence and abuse of staff by the rioters

On Wednesday, the House or Representatives impeached Trump, for the second time in his presidency, citing “incitement of insurrection,” among other crimes.

The FBI has warned that armed protests by Trump supporters could also occur on inauguration day in the national capital as well as state capitals.

As a precaution, some 10,000 National Guard troops are expected to be stationed in Washington, D.C., for the inauguration.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

Correction: January 13, 2021
This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Donald Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives Wednesday.
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